Elva Jenkins Hendershot, along her husband, Clarence Hendershot, served as an American Baptist missionary to Burma from 1924 through 1935.
Elva Opal Jenkins was born 17 June 1900 in Bloomfield, Missouri, the second child of William James and Eva Mae Brooks Jenkins. Elva grew up in San Diego, California, and graduated from high school in 1918. She continued her education at the San Diego School of Nursing, where she received her diploma in 1924.
While attending a Baptist church camp retreat with her sister, Mildred, in the Laguna Mountains, Elva Jenkins met Dr. and Mrs. James Telford, American Baptist missionaries serving in Kengtung, South Shan States, Burma. Dr. Telford needed a nurse, and Elva responded to their call. She was appointed by the Woman's American Baptist Foreign Mission Society on 14 October 1924. Her initial service in Burma, 1924-1927, was principally in the hospital at Kengtung. She returned to the United States in 1927 and resigned her appointment under the Woman's Society in 1928.
In March 1928, Elva Jenkins married Clarence Hendershot, who was at that time on furlough in the United States after an initial term of service in Rangoon, Burma. The Hendershots returned to active missionary service in 1931; their principal assignment during the period 1932-1935 was in Rangoon, and in association with Judson College. Clarence Hendershot was a member of the Department of History.
After World War II the subsequent career of Clarence and Elva Hendershot involved again an overseas link. In the mid-1950s Dr. Clarence Hendershot served under the sponsorship of the United Nations as the Chief of the Education Division of the Office of Economic Coordinator, United Nations Command, in Korea. From 1957 to 1965, Elva Hendershot accompanied her husband on his overseas assignments to South Korea and Iran.
In 1965, they moved to Illinois; and in 1972, to Washington DC. Clarence Hendershot died on 4 May 1979; and Elva Jenkins Hendershot died on 26 October 1990.